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Daniel Gorman Wins Hans Bueschkens Junior Chefs Challenge...

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Jun 28, 2012

Becomes Best Young Cook in the World!

On May 3 in Daejeon, South Korea, Daniel Gorman rose to the top of the world’s culinary stage when he won the Hans Bueschkens Junior Chefs Challenge, beating out young chefs from China, Australia, Italy, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, and Sweden. His top spot as the 2010 ACF Student Chef of the Year, sponsored by Custom Culinary, Inc., earned him the right to compete for this international award.

From an early age, young Daniel had to learn how to make his own meals because his single mother worked two jobs to support them both and had little time to cook. Daniel became increasingly good at cooking, going from making eggs for himself to hosting chicken barbeque dinners for his teenage friends in remote Bethel, South Carolina. When college called, his initial choice of business school lost out to his love of cooking, so he enrolled in the culinary program at North Carolina’s Asheville-Buncombe Tech (A-B Tech) even though, until that point, he had never stepped foot in a professional kitchen.

After begrudgingly entering a school culinary competition, Daniel began to love the sport of cooking, the challenge of preparing a chicken dinner in an hour or creating a meal from a market basket. His school won the Junior Hot Food challenge in 2007, and from there he continued to win cook-offs.

His WACS dish was created over a 60-day period and had to feature sterling halibut, AOC Kobe strip loin and Korean strawberries. The challenge was well within his comfort zone because in his role as Chef de Cuisine at the Cherokee Town & Country Club in Atlanta, Daniel loves to cook seafood with locally sourced seasonal ingredients, focusing on technique and flavor. This familiarity meant he could simply cook to beat his own best. His winning dish was:

• Buttermilk-braised halibut with a spring asparagus and pea salad, lemon yuzu vinaigrette, mustard gastrique, leek fondue, and smoked prosciutto crisp
• Sous vide Kobe strip loin with carrot pureé, sautéed fava beans, wild mushroom timbale, beef stew croquette, red onion jam, and veal jus
• Strawberry mousse cheesecake on a lime biscuit with strawberry compote and an upside-down strawberry float


Daniel’s future plans include an education in restaurant management and nutrition. He will do so while working at the country club, a demanding job with frequent menu changes, four dining areas serviced out of one kitchen and styles ranging from casual to upscale casual to fine dining.

Even with an eye to the future, thriving on challenges and honing his culinary skills, Daniel’s most appealing quality might be his attitude. “Ultimately,” he says, “whatever happens great. Things just open up in my life, and I’m just going to ride the wave.”

From the entire staff at Custom Culinary, Inc., we congratulate Daniel Gorman on his world-class win!